Sunday, March 30, 2008

The CIA Director Said What?

We all know that this administration has an agenda. The recently released Department of Defense study not linking Iraq and 9/11 has made perfectly clear that war is the lifeblood of the current administration. War at all costs. And, while the war in Iraq is the current battle ground of this election year, I believe that we need to watch what is being said about Iran. We are being set up, and we need to confront these lies before they drag us, and the next president, into another costly war. In December 2007, a National Intelligence Estimate was release that said Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, yet we have been bombarded by administration officials who continue to say otherwise.

On "Meet The Press" this Sunday, the Director of the CIA said that he personally believed that Iran was seeking nuclear weapons. He acknowledged the NIE released in December 2007, but he immediately launched into a disqualification of the report, the intelligence, and Iran. And, Hayden isn't the first official to make these same remarks. Last week, Cheney said that Iran may be seeking nuclear weapons. Of course, he could have also said "probably not" or "we have no evidence of," but instead he continue to push his party's agenda of constant, costly war. And, just days after the NIE was released, Bush said "the NIE doesn't do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world." And who could forget Republican presidential candidate John McCain singing "Bomb Iran" during a campaign stump? I've tried, but I can't.

So, let me get this straight, even though 16 US Intelligence agencies concur that Iran is not working to produce a nuclear weapon and has not been working on acquiring a nuclear weapon for more than four years, the Bush administration continues to try and sell us another war based on false evidence? Even though the Intelligence agencies are stacked with Bush supporters, even they couldn't tell him what he so desperately wanted to hear? Even though the evidence is right in front of him, he can casually brush it aside for his "feelings"? No. I will not accept this. I will not accept more lies, and more officials who push the party line over truth. I will not accept a candidate who sings and dances to sell death and destruction. Now is the time for every American to demand that our leadership respect the truth of the world we live in: It may be dangerous, but picking fights won't make anyone safer. The officials who continue to lie to the people about Iran should be ashamed by the way they throw our credibility into the wind. I will not go to war based on their feelings, and neither should any other American.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Republicans Are the REAL Terrorists

Everybody prepare to run to the hills! If Obama wins the nomination, the terrorists will certainly celebrate in the streets by slaughtering thousands!

Please, this is such a line of crap that the GOP has managed to sell. And truly, they are the ones who are terrorizing the world (feigned shock). They have engaged in an illegal war on false pretenses. They’ve caused the death of hundred of thousands of Iraqi civilians, millions of refugees, and they knowingly send young Americans to die a horrific death in a foreign land. They have turned an admittedly suppressed nation into a battle ground between god knows how many players. They demand that other people conform to their idea of democracy while they desecrate the democracy of their own country. They spread lies about their opposition and attempt to stifle any free speech and debate.

The thing that makes the least sense in the whole Republican fear mongering machine is that they equate liberals to terrorists. Now, the Islamic extremists that Bush is fighting are religious CONSERVATIVES! They’re conservative! They’re religious nut-bags like Hucakbee, Buchanan, Falwell, Haggard, etc. There is no liberal Islamic terrorist wing! So, for Republicans to imply that liberalism is a threat to world peace takes a complete suspension of reality and facts. But, apparently, they’re very good at that.

The terrorists would be more apprehensive of a Democratic administration because they know that the Democrats are interested in catching the actual terrorists, like Osama bin Laden, who is still roaming free somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They know that the moderate Muslims would have a backing in the formation of a new government in Iraq. They know that they will receive welfare from Bush. That forming a new government would actually be up to them and that the US won’t back their civil war. Bush continues to egg them on by being obstinate, pugnacious, and wrong.

Now, McCain, Rove and the rest of the neo-conservatives would be right about one thing. Terrorists would celebrate the end of the fake justice of the military tribunals, Guantanamo, and the secret CIA prisons. Of course, so would most of America and the rest of the civilized world. So, between a return to justice and an end to the hostilities in Iraq, the terrorists would be back to fighting themselves instead of America.

Bush has single-handedly done more to create terrorists and breed hostilities towards Americans than any Islamic extremist could have ever hoped to do. Aside from the lies that got us into Iraq (and that’s a big aside), look at how poorly he continues to handle Afghanistan. The training ground of and host to the planners and perpetrators of 9/11 has largely been ignored. And, surprise, the Taliban are resurgent. But, for some reason, that’s NATO’s problem? I’m not following that logic. And then there’s his bellicose rhetoric on Iran. Even after the NIE determined Iran had stopped enriching uranium years ago, he and his cronies continue to push the idea that Iran is developing weapons to destroy humanity (I suppose Bush thinks that’s his domain, so he’s offended by anyone else who might want to do that). They say, “may be,” when they should really say “probably not” and “we have no evidence of.”

And now we have McCain, who used to be semi-independent. But, he continues to sell the lies that were manufactured by the neo-cons. He continues to champion Republican terrorism, and will continue to make America a target for future terrorist attacks. The best policy for America is one where we help the world, not destroy it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's Like Trying To Unscramble An Egg: Race, Gender and Our Election

I read an interesting article about race and gender in the Washington Post yesterday. The thing that I found most interesting (almost offensive) was that idea that people have some sort of allegiance to race and or gender so that, in this election cycle black women will have to “choose” one over the other. Of course, if the election were about issues, which it should be anyways, it would be so easy to color- and/or gender-blindly choose a candidate. But, the media, always trying to sensationalize things, just can’t let this go. I really thought we could make it through this election without putting race or gender in the forefront. Boy, was I wrong! I feel like I need a vacation (the Caribbean sounds nice).

Then I realized that I’m on vacation this week, so I figured I’d just write about it. I started thinking about which identity is more deeply entrenched in our psyches. Have you every tried to buy baby clothes for someone who wants to be surprised by the gender of their child? Not easy, is it? Your choices are yellow or green or some sort of rainbow so as to remain as androgynous as possible. You can have balloons, maybe trees or things like cookies or weird non-gendered cartoon characters. So, from the time we are born we are either pink or blue, hearts and ruffles or trucks and airplanes. From the moment of our existence we are categorized into our own little niche based on gender. Boys are this and girls are that, boys do this and girls do that.

I think the issue of race is a bit more complicated, and one of the problems is that the standard in our society is still the white man (although I’m not sure why, they certainly haven’t proven their usefulness lately). Here’s what I mean, white men are still expected to do any range of jobs, nothing is surprising when it is done by a white man. However, if a minority does that same thing it’s considered shocking by some. And I don’t even mean running for president, but even things like becoming lawyers, doctors, holding political office. And they cynical tone perpetuated by white men is that somehow that person is a “token” in their world. Token candidate, token political appointee, token board member. And, in my experiences, the race issue is far more likely to fall into this category than gender.

What I see is that the gender issue is fought overtly, while race has once again slipped into the realm of taboo (or maybe it never left). Yes, the Equal Rights Amendment was never passed, while the Civil Rights Amendments of the 1960s were. Maybe that’s the difference. Maybe people assume that the race issue was already settled, but that gender has yet to be settled. I believe that women are making greater inroads while racial integration is not breaking the glass ceiling at the same pace.

As a person who falls into both the black and female category, I have to say I feel no particular “allegiance” to vote either my race or my gender. I voted for Edwards in the primary because I voted on the issues. And, I believe that the socioeconomic issues weigh far heavier on racial differences than they do on gender differences. But, I don’t think it takes a person of a particular race or gender to be able to tackle those issues. I think it takes dedication to the principles on which America was founded, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that all of mankind is created equal.

Honestly, I think all of these attempts to categorize people by things out of their control is a sign of some sort of societal weakness. Why can’t people be identified by what they choose, such as occupation, hobbies, interests or dislikes? Why are we so busy putting people into boxes and making them choose sides? Why are we still living by the white man standard? Why do I even feel that it’s necessary to write this article? Some people feel comfortable promoting the same old divisions, but it’s about the issues. We need a president who can solve America’s problems, who can address all of America, not just a niche.

Vote Of Allegiance?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Just when I thought I had learned my lesson from all those painful failed past relationships –here I am again – depressed, despondent, and wondering, for the thousandth time, if this new failure has anything to do with me. I’m experiencing all the normal signs of a relationship on the brink of self-destruction: sleepless nights, lack of appetite, anger, frustration, longing for the past. But there’s no point in commiserating – we all know when it’s over.

The stock market and I had a good run. Years ago, in our honeymoon stage, every day was good; I felt confident and self assured, foolishly tricking myself (as I always do) into thinking that the good times would last, only to learn once again that love is blind.

My mother once told me that relationships aren’t easy. You have to work at them, she said. You need to weather through the good times and bad times. And I listened; I poured more money in; I supported defensive stocks; I diversified. Perhaps I’ve been a love-sick fool. Seven months ago when things started to get sour, I should have cut my losses and sold. But then I got nostalgic, thinking of all the good times, - the days of rallying into the green, when financials were high and commodities were low. So, being the good girlfriend that I am, I buckled down and prepared to weather the storm.

And so begins the proverbial relationship Catch-22. I’ve already committed for this long, I have to assume that things will get better, right? Please note: this break up is not my fault. I’ve always been an honest and faithful partner. I wasn’t tricked into taking out a sub-prime mortgage. I didn’t invest in collateralized debt. And I most certainly have not leveraged myself with complex insurance policies on mortgage debt. I’m just a stocks and bonds girl – I don’t even short sell.

And so subprime lending has destroyed my perfectly stable, healthy relationship. I’ve become the typical ex-girlfriend – waiting restlessly for the closing bell, basing my own mood on the dangerous and unpredictable swings of the market, and praying and pleading for things to get better. We sought help – but even the fed couldn’t offer any realistic solutions to mend our tanking relationship. President Bush offered us $600 but we can’t be bribed into fixing things.

This emotional rollercoaster needs to stop. There comes a point in a relationship where you need to finally admit that the pain is too much to bear. I have a lot to offer and I’m tired of this foul treatment. I’ve never had a zeal for foreigners, but the European Central Bank has asked me over for dinner. And I might just accept the offer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Exporting Imperfection

I’m going to start out with a few questions:
How many people here think the United States of America has a perfect government?
And, how many people here think that our government has always been perfect?
Do you agree that America has achieved separation of church and state?

My answer to all of these is unequivocally: No.

I’m not saying that America is a failed state, but it’s taken us over 200 years to get where we are. Why would we expect a country with no history of Democracy to be able to establish a constitution in a matter of years?

Neo-cons and Bush supporters always find it so convenient to gloss over the history of Democracy in the US. It helps their arguments. However, I like to start with the fact that before we had the glorious and ground breaking Constitution, we had the Articles of Confederation. Oh boy, that failed miserably! So, America struck out at its first attempt at self-governance (don’t mention that to the lemmings. They don’t like to hear things that contradict what they already believe). The Constitution was definitely a hit, but it wasn’t a home run. Remember that whole part about only white, male, land owners over the age of 21 could vote? Hmmm, doesn’t sound very representative to me, but that’s just me. Not to gloss over the issues of slavery, civil rights, women’s rights, voting age, income taxes, citizenship, etc, but the 27 amendments to the Constitution prove that Democracy in America is a continually evolving process. Democracy in America will never be perfect (in part because there is a strong push by the neo-cons to keep it imperfect). And, in the past few years, we have seen legislation that actually infringes on our Constitutional rights; our rights to privacy and protection from unlawful search, our freedom from torture, our freedom of religion, are all being legislated away by a neo-conservative government with a not-so-secret agenda of consolidation of power.

Additionally, I will argue that America has never completely separated church and state. After all, we have federal holidays on Christian holy days, right? And Truman added “under God” to the pledge in 1954, right? While this is minimal, and America is a mostly Christian nation, I believe that it makes forcing another nation into separation of church and state a “do as I say, not as I do” argument. I find Sharia law difficult to stomach, but that is because I do not believe that it is an honest interpretation of Islam. Again, that’s just me. Who am I to say that no nation is allowed to use religion to shape their laws? I can’t. In different cultures, they may be comfortable with the idea of church and state as one.

So this begs the question (and I’m really directing this specifically at Iraq, but also Afghanistan and whatever countries may be next): What makes anyone believe that America has some sort of right to go around the world and establish democracies without regard for that country’s ethnic and historic background?

This is where I like to use two arguments. One, the region of Iraq is one of the oldest regions of civilization in the world. It has seen more wars, nations, and governments than any other place on earth. This is war is just one in a long history of war and conflict. I have no doubt that their culture will persist, no matter who attempts to interfere. Two, we all know about the Domino Theory that was used to justify Vietnam (as in, if one country falls to Communism, the rest will follow…just like dominos). As history has shown, this theory has not played out. Communism did not spread rampantly throughout Asia. So then why would we expect Democracy in the Middle East to be any different? Why would we expect that Democracy to spread like dominos falling when Communism didn’t?

I don’t expect any two governments in the world to be the same. I don’t believe that what works for us will work half way around the world. I expect that people will govern themselves as they see fit. I expect that people will make mistakes in the process, but come to solutions that fit their needs, not ours. I think we need to respect our differences and, instead of forcing change through imperialism, we need to guide change through diplomacy. In a country with a 5000 year history, five years is the blink of an eye. Why not have patience and encourage change over time? War has accomplished nothing, let’s give peace a chance.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fight Fear With Logic

In the words of a great Democrat “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” FDR uttered these words during his first inaugural address in 1933 while America in the midst of the Great Depression and the world was plunging into chaos and war. Imagine that! A president telling the people that our greatest threat is being too afraid to do anything. At a time when there was much to fear, we had a president telling us to face that fear and fight it back.

In my belief, a government should have the best interest of its people in mind (but, hey, that’s just me). And those interests span from health to education to, yes, security. I think that security coverts the daily and internal threats, but sometimes, security includes protecting the people from external threats; the key word being
sometimes. Yet, external threats are all this administration can talk about. They would have us believe that there is nothing else to focus on except one threat, and that none of the domestic issues that we actually care about are tied to the external threat.

Unfortunately for us all, the current administration lacks the courage to lead the people. Instead they rely on the politics of fear and keeping the people afraid. For example, the “terror threat rainbow” (I have no idea what it’s really called, so that’s what I call it) is one tool that Bush and Co use to keep the people afraid. If the government were honest with us, it would be blue because, let’s face it, it’s way more dangerous to drive a car, eat a cheeseburger, use a hairdryer, etc. However, as we’ve come to expect, this administration is always less than honest and they’ll do whatever possible to retain their power over the people.

Cheney did it in 2006 and now McCain is doing it. What is it? Telling the people that he “believes” that the terrorists are watching our election cycle and will try sway the results through attacks. On the face, this seems like the Republicans (already) making excuses for losing the election. But, more importantly, it is the use of fear to manipulate the people. The Republicans continue to ignore the bests interests of the people, focus on wedge issues, and try to tell us that everything is going to be ok…as long as we vote for them. Their entire platform revolves around keeping the people scared.

We are at a point now where we need to face this fear mongering head on. This is what we need to say to the cowards who try to keep us afraid: 

"We weren't afraid when we voted for you the first time. A few years later, you told us that we were almost done being afraid, and now your successor wants us to be afraid for the next 100 years. Well, we're sick of being afraid, so we're going to vote for the person who tells us the truth: Life is dangerous, but your chances of getting killed by a terrorist are smaller than your chances of winning the lottery; that, in order to have a friend, you need to be a friend. And that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. We're moving on. And, oh by the way, we’re also not voting for you because your party is run by hypocrites and perverts, and has managed to flush the economy, world opinion, our health care system, education and the environment down the toilet. But, we’re not afraid any more either."

Friday, March 14, 2008


On March 11, 2008, Esquire Magazine published an article entitled, “The Man between War and Peace” in which Admiral Fallon, then CENTCOM Cdr, was referred to as the one man standing between the Bush Administration and war with Iran. Thomas Barnett’s article profiles Fallon as the single force preventing Cheney-Bush from riding into Iran, donning their cowboy ensembles and shooting off their pistols. Barnett says, “And so Fallon, the good cop, may soon be unemployed because he's doing what a generation of young officers in the U. S. military are now openly complaining that their leaders didn't do on their behalf in the run-up to the war in Iraq: He's standing up to the commander in chief, whom he thinks is contemplating a strategically unsound war.”

As a veteran service member, I was shocked when Fallon was appointed to position of CENTCOM. First, he’s in the Navy – what do Navy guys know about ground fighting? He’s a Villanova graduate and a NFO – unusual credentials in comparison to the service academy marine/army Generals that generally fit the position profile.

Realistically Fallon was perfect for the job. His level headedness and reasonable outlook seemed refreshing in comparison to Cheney-Bush’s war mongering hot-headedness. At least he served as a buffer between Bush and his go-to-it guy, Petraeus who is too keenly inline with Bush’s agenda.

This morning I sent out an email entitled, “Cowboys Only: Fallon Falls off Bush’s War Horse”. To issue a disclaimer: I’m usually not one to push my personal political agenda on my friends and loved ones. But this issue seemed too important to let slip by unnoticed. My greatest concern is that in the aftermath of the Geraldine Ferraro and Eliot Spitzer debacles, Fallon’s very important move would become second page news. If the media would stop for an instant and adjust their focus, they might realize what a significant and controversial stance Fallon took in both his Esquire interview and later in his step down from CENTCOM Cdr.

How do we stop Bush’s agenda? Congress has tried; political activists have tried. Now, America’s senior military officials are relinquishing positions, throwing their hands up in the air, refusing to play pawn for Cheney’s oil. But does anyone seem to care? Spitzer’s escort’s brother got more press yesterday than Fallon. So we’ll continue sending our children overseas to a useless war, to return with PTSD and lifelong disillusionment, to sit rotting in rundown infested military hospitals. Bush will dig a little harder for a yes-man general, which shouldn’t be a challenging task. And the war will press on. And on.

Monday, March 10, 2008

WTF, Hillary?

Ok Hillary, we all know you want to be president. You want to be president really, really bad. But, don’t you think it’s gone just a little too far? I do. But, I just want to let you know, before I get started on this, that if you win the nomination, I’ll still vote for you. It will be like this post never happened.

In the beginning, you were doing so well. Personable, composed, nice. Ok, well maybe nice isn’t the word I’m looking for. Maybe mature or reasonable is more like it. Anyways, the point is, you seemed like a good candidate, like someone who was really about change and a turning over a new leaf. I even wrote an entry for you about why it would be good for America if you were president. I mean, even though I was an Edwards supporter, I was urging people in your direction, AND I always made a point to call you Clinton (calling women by their first names and men by their last is a common occurrence that I believes makes people take women less seriously).

Lately, though, I’m less than thrilled. What’s going on? People are calling you a “monster.” That’s pretty serious. Bush might be a monster; Cheney and Rove definitely are definitely monsters. But, you? This isn’t what we need. Remember the whole “change” and “healing” and “uniting” thing that we had going on? Thought so…

I can imagine that it would be hard to watch this dream slip away. Actually, no I can’t. This is really big! And, you have great policies. Ok, your policies are, for the most part, more progressive than your opponents. So, great might have been strong, good is sufficient. Definitely better than what we’ve got now.

Then things started to turn, I’d say around South Carolina. That’s when the “surrogates” started to come out. First it was Bill (“the first African American president”). I’ll be honest, the name-calling drew some criticism. And, it turned some people off. But it didn’t stop. And, I think we’ve gotten to a fever pitch here with the negative ads and negative speeches. Ok, you aren’t the only one doing it, but I think you started it. So, it’s time for you to end it. The whole “milking the cow” thing was way too much (and you know it. What did that even mean?).

The best thing about this primary was the fact that we had narrowed the field to two great candidates who could possibly work together in the future? Just so you know, you’ve totally ruined that. People are very drawn to a message of hope, change and doing things differently. You’ve been showing that you’re not so serious about this. I know, you’ve got experience, which I still haven’t figured out exactly how to measure. I’m not so convinced that your experience, is all that we need. We need the people to be mobilized, to care, to want to participate in politics. Obama is getting this done. He’s drawn new people and independents to the party (Bush and company have done a great job pushing people away, stepping on their heads, stabbing them in the back, etc.).

So, this will be my message to you. I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying “fail boldly.” Well, mine is a little different: Fail gracefully. If it does come to that, in April, June or August, please, put the good of the nation over your own desires. Remember that no good will can come of this. All these things that have been said cannot be stricken from the record. They are fair game in the general election. So, think carefully before that next negative statement comes out. If you want to be the leader, start right now. Get back to your original message; give us that dignity that we crave. That’s where you came from, and it was working, so get back to what works. Please.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why NOT McCain?

From McCain's website:

John McCain is an experienced conservative leader in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. He is a common sense conservative who believes in a strong national defense, a smaller, more accountable government, economic growth and opportunity, the dignity of life and traditional values.

We need to get out there and debunk all of his myths. McCain is no Lincoln or Roosevelt (and being Reagan doesn't have positive implications, in my opinion). McCain will try to distance himself from Bush, while at the same time promoting the failed policies of the past eight years. We must head him off at every opportunity!

Why Not McCain? Let's hit some of his talking points:

America faces a dangerous, relentless enemy in the War against Islamic Extremists. Yes, there are Islamic extremists, but there are also Christian extremists who have very similar policies and you do not denounce them. The truth is, Bush's war on Terror has done more to fuel hatred against America and has only served to breed terrorism. This GWOT will never be solved through fighting, it will only be solved through diplomacy. If the US wants to be a leader, we need someone who is willing to take the time to get to the root of the problem, not someone who will go straight for war.

A Democrat elected President will join hands with a tax-and-spend Democratic Congress and subject Americans to enormous tax increases. Bush said in the SOTU that if his tax cuts are allowed to expire, the average American will see a tax increase of $1,087. Well, Bill Gates and a homeless person have an average net worth of $20 billion. True, but is it an accurate statement? Not at all. If a Democrat were elected, the wealthy would likely lose many of their tax breaks, that have already cost this nation $1.3 trillion. Additionally, corporations would see their useless tax breaks eliminated. But, putting the money back into the hands of the people WILL stimulate the economy. Every dollar spent returns to the economy five-fold. And, honestly, this is two strikes for trickle-down economics. It has yet to work. Democrats will balance the budget by eliminating wasteful Bush tax cuts to the wealthy and greedy. Democrats will spend the money they have available. Remember the surplus of the Clinton years? Well, it will be harder to get back to because of failed Republican economic policies, but it can be done.

Americans have lost faith and trust in their government. Special interests have too much influence in Washington. So, what were all the favors for Vikki Iseman's clients about? Oh yea, campaign donations. And all those lobbyists you have running your campaign? Face it John, you aren't the man to restore faith and trust. You are just another Republican, willing to do whatever you can to get more votes. This one is a total lie and we all know it. 

Americans want judges who will strictly interpret the law and not legislate from the bench. Actually, we want judges who will uphold the Constitution and not allow Republicans to modify and ignore the basic principles of America. We don't want warrantless wiretaps, torture, or a government that combines church and state. Let us pursue life, liberty and happiness. As long as we don't bother you, what is your problem? Oh, and also we want judges who don't get DUIs while in drag (a la Robert Somma). Talk about hypocrites...

John McCain offers nothing but more policies that favor the wealthy and businesses. He has no desire to reform the government that is working so well for him. So, go ahead and vote for McCain if you want your grandchildren to die fighting in the perpetual war on terror, if you want to pay into Social Security and never be able to take out, if you want to see the American education system demolished and the economy handed over to the wealthy.

But, if you want to see America restored as a world leader in democracy and prosperity, vote Democratic in 2008!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Jesus Was A Democrat

Jesus was a Democrat. That’s the secret that the Religious Right doesn’t want you to know. Jesus preached fairness, tolerance, peace and responsibility, all of which are Democratic principles. Republicans have continuously acted in the name of war, greed, fear and hatred, none of which are supported by the teachings of Jesus.

Here are some of the tenants of the Democratic Party: An honest, open and accountable government, fair trade and corporate responsibility, government responsibility to all its citizens, separation of church and state, and equal opportunity and equal justice for all. Democrats believe that the government exists for the benefit of all and that the government should adopt policies that enable all people to succeed. Democrats also believe that war should be used as a last resort, and only to protect America.

So what does the Bible teach us about these principles?

Honest, open and accountable government: Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (Luke 12:2-3)

Fair trade and corporate responsibility: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. ... For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6: 19, 21) 

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matt. 6:24) 

Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15).

Government aid to all: I was hungred and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.... Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt. 25:35-40)
If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (Matt. 19:21).

Separation of church and state: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. (Matt. 22-21).

Equal opportunity and justice: Ye have heard that it hath it said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. (Matt. 5: 43-44);
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. (Matt. 5:7).

War: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matt. 5:9).

So, how can the right be religious? One idea is that the leaders of the right focus on personal behavior instead of social behaviors, sin versus injustice. Of course, when you look at the personal behavior of Republicans, sins abound. Extortion, money laundering, drugs and sex are all scandals that have tainted Republican leaders (check out Republican Sex Offenders for continuously updated examples). A better argument is that the conservative leaders know that they can mobilize the “single issue” voters. The GOP rails against progressive positions on gay rights, gun rights, and abortion in order to attract Christian fundamentalists. They manipulate the teachings of Jesus for the sole purpose gaining votes.

What I don’t understand is how people could be so willing to ignore the book that they live by. I don’t see how people can cast aside the very phrases that they use to shape their existence. And I certainly can’t excuse the fact that they are willing to forgive those leaders who claim to live by the Bible but are then caught doing just the opposite.

Maybe we should challenge the leaders of the religious right to live by the teachings of Jesus. We should challenge them to tolerate, help and pay their taxes. I’ll tell you one thing, if this country were run by the teachings of Jesus, it would be a very liberal nation.

So, I’ll leave you with one last teaching, and maybe it is the one that the religious right should be most concerned about:

Hypocrisy: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith, these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.... 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ... ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matt. 23: 23-28).